November 28, 2011
Florence And The Machine - 'Take Care'
Flo covers Drake with mixed results
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Made by "three of her favourite artists" (that's Jamie xx, Rihanna and Drake to you and me), Florence covers 'Take Care' in the Beeb's 'Live Lounge'.
The 'Live Lounge' has been home to some of the best surprise covers (Arctic Monkeys do Girls Aloud's 'Love Machine') and the worst (The Script do Eminem's 'Lose Yourself'. In patois).
So which way will Florence's cover veer? Does she manage to capture the magic of the track or even some of The xx's stunning remix of her own 'You Got The Love'?
The original is an astounding meeting of genres. The xx's shadowy guitars meet a house beat, against Rihanna's soulful vocal and Drake's typically skittish rap. Florence's version is undone by its failure to replicate these textures.
Surprisingly for a singer whose critiqued for sounding robotic, Florence has real problems twisting her voice around Rihanna's parts. Where as Rihanna's vocal worked because she sounded maternal, Florence doesn't manage to nail the tracks weighty gravitas. Instead her delivery is all girlish whispers. The lyrics end up sounds (rather annoyingly) breathy.
Her delivery of Drake's rap is much better. Luckily for us, she doesn't try to "drop some rhymes," (in a Gwyneth/Anne Hathaway stylee) opting instead for sing-speaking the lines about club-based loneliness.
The end result is disappointing. The songs power is in its subtlety, something which Florence isn't known for. Live she tries to hammer the message home but the end result will have you questioning what made the original so good in the first place.
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